Strengthen your internal communications with an animated video

VideoImagine you are about to launch a new product line. You’ve had a team working on it for a year. Your board is thrilled. Your marketing department is ready to launch a multi-channel campaign. All you have to do is announce the launch of this new product line. You send a detailed company-wide email with the subject “Important: new product line”. And no one reads it.

While no doubt your subject line might be more interesting, the fact remains that an email will simply be overlooked by the majority of your employees. Imagine instead that you create a short, humorous 90 second animated video and circulate it via email. In under two minutes every employee has watched the video and is as excited about your new product as you are.  Just like that, you’re all on the same page.

Why use an internal explainer video?

According to a recent study by the Wharton Institute, the average person will only retain about 10% of what they hear, but will retain 50% of what they see.  This means that even if your employees are reading those long company-wide memos, they probably won’t remember much. When you have important information to share, you can’t risk it being forgotten.

An internal explainer video takes the guesswork out of your company-wide communications and makes sure that everyone is on the same page. The short, 90 second or less animated videos are designed to be engaging, easy to digest, and memorable. They can be shared with employees scattered around the globe, tailored to certain teams, or customized to share with stakeholders.

There are likely signs that your internal communication needs a makeover. Employee engagement is low and teams are complaining they don’t feel like they really know what is going on. New hires are struggling to get up to speed – a sign that onboarding is lacking. Meetings are dull, and key information is being lost. So how might you use an internal explainer video?

Onboarding and training

Bringing a new employee onto your team is a crucial time. How you onboard and train your employees sets the tone of their tenure with you, and it is a crucial point of employee engagement. You want new employees to feel educated and like the have the resources they need to do their job. Poor onboarding leads to high employee turnover and can cost you thousands of dollars each year.

Having a library of new hire training videos can complement (or even in some cases replace) onboarding meetings and employee handbooks. These videos can include how-to’s, best practices, and even discuss the culture and expectations of the workplace. Each video gives you the opportunity reinforce your company culture and core values, and provides your new employees the opportunity to easily digest and learn your expectations. These videos can also be used to share company benefits, enrollment procedures, and time off policies with both employees and their families.

orgvidIntroducing a new policy

Introducing a new company-wide policy, whether it has to do with work-flow or employee benefits, impacts every single one of your employees. It’s so important to communicate a new policy clearly – you want to ensure that every employee understands how and if the policy impacts them and what actions they need to take. But introducing a new policy is also an opportunity to engage your employees deeply: if you take the time to clearly communicate the change – including why and how the policy is being put in place, and what it means for your company – employees will be far more receptive than if a blanket-wide policy is put in place with no clarification.

When USB wanted to design and develop a global employee social media training program they knew they needed to ensure that all their employees not only understood why they were introducing the program, but that they were excited about the idea. They used an internal explainer video rather than just a company-wide email or meeting, and not only was the video well received, it was one of the top five most viewed intranet posts globally in the week of its launch.

Rolling out a new product

Before you roll out a new product line to the public you need your team 100% on board. Makes sense, right? But according to Forbes, only “50% of employees believe in their company’s brand idea, and even less are actually equipped to deliver to on it.” If your employees don’t understand – or don’t believe in – your brand and your products, how can you succeed?

When it comes to rolling out a new product internal communication is just as – if not more – important than how you talk to the public. Don’t appeal to the customers for success: start with your employees.

Using a video to announce the launch of a new product line sets the stage for success.

  • They’re short. Internal explainer videos run about 90 to 120 seconds  meaning that your employees can be up to speed and feel “in the know” quickly and efficiently.
  • They’re fun. A video doesn’t have to be dry. Some of the best internal explainer videos have quit a bit of humour and can go viral internally. Creatively engaging employees means that they’re paying attention – which is invaluable.
  • They’re consistent. Using a video doesn’t just mean you are quickly sharing your new product with employees. It’s a branding opportunity that reinforces the messaging, vision, and goals of your company, different departments, and the newly launched product line.

Boosting Employee Engagement

Companies of all sizes face the same question: how do you create real organizational change and deeply engage employees? Employee engagement isn’t just a nice idea – it’s crucial to your bottom line. A recent study by Gallup showed that employee engagement translates to 21 percent higher productivity, which means higher sales and a healthier company.

There are many ways to creatively engage your employees, ranging from fun incentives to company-wide philosophies on working remotely and flex time. Using an internal video complements these with one major perk: it allows for strong, clear messaging and reinforces your company’s vision, culture, and goals. Short videos, whether used for training purposes, to announce policy changes, or even just to share good news, give you the chance to use a leader’s voice to engage your employees in an informal and accessible way.

A recent study by Gallup showed that employee engagement translates to 21 percent higher productivity, which means higher sales and a healthier company.

When Philips Electronics North America conducted a focus group, they found that only 80 percent of employees felt like the could speak knowledgeably about Philips’ products. Although they were proud to work for Philips, they didn’t feel connected to the company. So, to remedy this, they launched the Roving Reporter in 2005 and produced a series of videos that ranged from two to three minutes long. They included snapshots of other departments, reports from the FIFA world cup, and insight into product launches. As a result of integrating video into their employee engagement efforts, Philips’ employees understanding of the company’s messaging increased over 10 percent.

Is an animated video right for you?

So how do you know if an internal video is right for your company? There are a few key elements to think through before you launch your company’s video.

  • Purpose: What is the intended goal of the video? The clearer you are as to the purpose of the video the more effective it will be. What value will it add to your company, or what problem will it solve?
  • Resources: Outside of setting a budget, consider who will be responsible for managing the process of creating a video, who will ensure that the messaging and language reflect the culture of your company, and who ultimately signs off on the project.
  • Partners: Find a firm to work with you to create an animated video that reflects the culture and vision of your company. You’ll want a team who can execute your vision, add humour and design elements, and of course keep the video short and to the point. Your marketing department may have resources, but we’re always happy to help too.

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